Thursday, 27 October 2011
Azerbaijan secures Security Council seat
In Baku, the victory is being seen as a major diplomatic coup, and a validation of the country’s attempts to become a significant player on the world stage. It is especially satisfying because arch-rival Armenia withdrew its bid early on. President Ilham Aliev set the tone, saying that Armenia was “forced to admit that they were losing to Azerbaijan and the international community condemns their aggressive policy against Azerbaijan”.
Azerbaijani politicians and analysts have already begun ruminating on the significance of the victory and how Azerbaijan can use the seat to advance its national interests. Naturally the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be high on the agenda, and Baku will – at the least – try to prompt the Security Council into making a statement condemning the presence of Armenian forces in the conflict zone. Although its too early to say what else will be a priority by the time Azerbaijan takes its seat, the ongoing international pressure against Iran will probably remain an important issue for the Security Council. Any new vote on sanctions or other forms of pressure will be sensitive for Baku, particularly if their bilateral relationship continues to head into choppy waters.
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© 2011 Menas Associates